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Bipolar 'not linked to violence'

One of the symptoms of depression is chronic low mood

A recent piece of research has revealed that the link between violent behaviour and bipolar disorder is minimal or non-existent.

Conducted by researchers at Oxford University, the study looked at the lives of 3,700 people in Sweden who had been diagnosed with the mental health disorder.

They found that unless drug or alcohol abuse was involved in the patient's situation, bipolar patients were highly unlikely to display any increased signs of violent behaviour.

When substance abuse was found, the recorded levels of violent crime among people who were mentally ill were equal to levels found among substance abusers in the general population.

Dr Seena Fazel, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, commented on the study: "Most of the relationship between violent crime and serious mental illness can be explained by alcohol and substance abuse.

"That tends to be the thing that mediates the link between violence and the illness."

Mood swings and unpredictable behaviour are common signs of bipolar disorder, which is also known as manic depression.

Bipolar disorder treatment news : 8 September 2010